When I stepped off the tarmac in Athens after an easyJet flight from London, my baggage allowance contained neither bathers nor beach reading. I was here at the invitation of Stelios himself. The entrepreneur founder of the easyGroup of companies had asked us to gather user evidence about his newest web based holiday business. easyCruise offers cruises to Stelios’s ancestral home, Greece; and consequently is perhaps also the company closest to his heart.
easyCruise offers a dynamic new concept in cruising, totally different to its more traditional rivals. All the information is available through the website, and bookings are managed online, so it’s vital that the website is as usable and effective as possible. That’s why Stelios called in WUP. We had previously carried out a successful usability project on easyCar, significantly increasing online bookings, and he wanted us to repeat the magic.
With its affordable ‘no frills’ approach, easyCruise aims to attract a broader customer base than traditional cruise companies. To that end the website usability testers we had invited to our studios in Wiltshire ranged from a gap year student who had never considered cruising, to a retired aficionado of classical Greece. The website was subjected to rigorous testing which revealed real opportunities for the website to provide a more positive user experience. In particular, these concerned the content and positioning of information that customers needed before they booked, as well as issues relating to the online booking process itself.
While I knew that Stelios would be receptive to the usability report I had come to present, and hopefully also to the recommendations I made, ‘I hadn’t expected that he would be so determined to action change that he would want the improvements made there and then and get the new site live in few days!’ So over the next two days I worked in close partnership with the easyCruise website team, and together we transformed the website. Where information was missing it was supplied, where details were wrongly positioned they were moved, and in general, where there was darkness we shed a little light. The result is a relaunched website that offers the potential cruise customer easy access to all the information they need in a user friendly format, and leads them through to a booking process that is clear and logical.